American Sign Language in Arkansas High Schools
  • Petitioned Arkansas Department of Education

This petition was delivered to:

Arkansas Department of Education

American Sign Language in Arkansas High Schools

    1. Morgan Asbill
    2. Petition by

      Morgan Asbill

  1.  
  2.   
March 2013

Victory

Morgan Asbill: I proposed a piece of legislation with my change petition, sent it to all of the Arkansas Legislature House and Senate members. I had one of each decide to represent my idea and create a bill, HB1410. It was read, sent to the House Education Committee where I spoke on my reasons to have this put into law, they unanimously voted for it and sent it to the House for a vote. The House voted unanimously for my bill, and sent it to the Senate Education Committee, where they also had a unanimous vote. The entire Senate then voted unanimously and sent it to the Governor's office to be signed, vetoed or sent back. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe signed my bill into Act 328 on 3-11-13, and it is now an Arkansas law.

American Sign Language is the primary communication method for hundreds of thousands of people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Use of the language is largely limited to English-speaking areas of North America with other signing systems existing in other parts of the world.

Distinct from English, ASL has its own sophisticated syntax and system of symbols. The visual language relies upon the comprehension of signs formed by hand movements, facial expressions and body positioning. ASL is nearly universally recognized as a foreign language, making it attractive to students looking to fulfill postsecondary credit requirements.

Many find the study of this language so rewarding that they choose to pursue careers in special education, translation and other fields in which they can put it to use. Not every child is necessarily good with linguistic foreign language, but may have additional skills that allow them to learn signing language and still be successful in higher education,”

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the first language of many deaf North Americans, and one of several communication options available to deaf people. ASL is said to be the fourth most commonly used language in the United States.

The change could also make ASL courses more accessible, opening doors for not only the deaf and hearing-impaired, but also friends and family looking to better learn how to communicate with them.  My dad and brother are both deaf, and I learned ASL before I could even speak!

American Sign Language has become federally recognized as a foreign language. As of July 1997, 28 states and several community colleges and universities have passed such legislation allowing it to fulfill a foreign language requirement, for hearing as well as deaf students.

Please help bring me with my GS Gold Project and send this to the Arkansas Department of Education's attention so that Arkansas can join the growing list of states who offer ASL as a foreign language credit course in Arkansas High Schools.

Morgan Asbill - Junior@Springdale, AR

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Check out my PSA on YouTube!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer
      Morgan Asbill American Sign Language in Arkansas High Schools Arkansas Act 328

      Arkansas Act 328 is now a law allowing all Arkansas high schools to offer American Sign Language as a Foreign or Modern Language for high school Foreign Language credit. Arkansas is now the 35th state to allow American Sign Language (ASL) to be offered as a foreign language credit in high schools.

    2. HB1410 IS NOW ACT 328 - IT'S AN OFFICAL LAW IN ARKANSAS!!!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      IT'S OFFICIAL!! HB1410 is now Act 328 - Governor Beebe has signed the bill allowing Arkansas High Schools to offer American Sign Language as a foreign/modern language for high school foreign language credit! Thanks to everyone for your support! Morgan

    3. Governor's Desk - Here we come!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      We have passed the Senate unanimously 34-0. Next stop is the Governor's Desk to sign the ASL Bill. Keep your fingers crossed!

    4. Senate Education Committee VOTES TOMORROW 10AM!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      HB1410 has passed the Senate Education Committee and goes for a Senate vote tomorrow 10am. YOU can watch it here:

      http://www.arkansas.gov/senate/newsroom/video.php

    5. ASL today in the Senate!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      Senate Education Committee to discuss ASL today!

      by Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer
      HB1510 goes to the Senate Education Committee at 10am!

    6. Senate Education Committee to discuss ASL today!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      HB1510 goes to te Senate Education Committee at 10am!

    7. TODAY!! House Votes on ASL - Watch it Live!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      Watch the Arkansas House live on Monday, March 4, 2013 1:30pm central time as they put the American Sign Language HB1410 to a vote. You can watch live at
      http://www.arkansashouse.org/event/21748

    8. Monday, March 4, 2013 House Votes on ASL - Watch it Live!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      Watch the Arkansas House live on Monday, March 4, 2013 as they put the American Sign Language HB1410 to a vote. You can watch live at http://www.arkansashouse.org/

      Arkansas House of Representatives | AR House Bill & Legislative Update

      Meet the Speaker On behalf of all 100 House Members, welcome to ArkansasHouse.org, a comprehensive Website geared toward increasing the public's access to the legislative process. The site includes an interactive map, live video of proceedings from the House floor, and daily updates on legislation and House actions.

    9. Victory in House Education Committee

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      The bill unanimously passed education committee. Goes for house vote Monday then if passed it will go to senate education committee. Thank you for all of the support. Keep spreading the word!

    10. ASL Draft Bill is Ready for Review!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      The draft ASL House Bill is in.....! Yay! We will review and get back to Rep. Mayberry by Christmas! Only 24 days until the 89th Legislative Session begins! Thanks to everyone for the support! Happy Holidays - Morgan (:

    11. Reached 750 signatures
    12. We are on our way!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      Well we are on our way! A huge thank you goes out to Representative Andy Mayberry and his wife Julie Mayberry - they are working very hard to help put the bill together so that we can present it to the Arkansas Legislature Education Committee in 2013!!!

    13. We reached 500 signatures! Keep Signing!!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      We reached 500 signatures! Keep Signing!!

    14. Reached 500 signatures
    15. Please like us on Facebook!

      Morgan Asbill
      Petition Organizer

      We need your support!

    16. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Lance Lamuel JACKSONVILLE, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      ASL is a whole different language with its own grammatical structure and be treated as such. Plus, it would improve communications with fellow Americans!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Adam Addie LONOKE, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      Child becoming a deaf teacher. think it is important that the deaf community not be cut off from the hearing.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Whitney Addie LONOKE, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      I have friends that are Deaf and always wanted to take a class to help me communicate with them. It was not until I was in college before I was able to take an ASL class. It is also important because not everyone can learn to speak Spanish. I tried to learn Spanish in high school but could not catch on. When I started learning ASL in college, I caught on very quickly. Another reason this is important is that Spanish does not interest everyone but having a choice might make children more interested in learning another language.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Taylor Hardcastle JACKSONVILLE, AR
      • over 1 year ago

      ASL should be recognized as a language and should be offered in high schools, just as any other foreign language is!!!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lindsay Carr BLACKSBURG, VA
      • over 1 year ago

      I took ASL in my high school as a foreign language; it was a great way to introduce people to deaf culture and life. It's a great way to grow the communication between deaf and hearing people. I still use my sign language from high school to talk with deaf people I meet.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.